Good morning on Thursday, November 9, 2023, and National Greek Yogurt Day (cultural appropriation).
Today’s news will be short as I did a food post (later) and also slept late.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 9 Wikipedia page.
*Anthony Blinken is apparently running Israel, or so the NYT reports, for his suggestions are limned as future Israelis policy. The latest is to turn over Gaza, after it is free from Hamas, to the Palestinian Authority.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Wednesday that Gaza should be unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority once the war is over, offering a strong signal about what the United States sees as its preferred endgame in the fight between Israel and Hamas.
The message, delivered during a meeting of foreign ministers in Tokyo, came as President Biden feels growing pressure to use his leverage to push for sustainable, long-term goals in the region and minimize civilian casualties. But increasingly, the United States and Israel are showing signs that their interests are diverging.
The remarks by Mr. Blinken on Wednesday reflect a deep anxiety on the part of Mr. Biden and his aides inside the White House as the conflict enters its second month. What started in the days after Oct. 7 as an unambiguous rush to the defense of an ally has become a much more complicated diplomatic challenge for the president to help define an alternative to open-ended war in the Middle East.
. . .On Wednesday, Mr. Blinken said there must be “affirmative elements to get to a sustained peace.”
“These must include the Palestinian people’s voices and aspirations at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza,” he said. “It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.”
Mr. Blinken offered no details about how such an arrangement might be implemented;
Frankly, this suggestion is insane. Mahmoud Abbas, the aging head of the Palestinian Authority is corrupt, fosters terrorism, and the people of Gaza despise him, No wonder no details were offered. If there is to be an honest broker for peace to negotiate for that impossible two-state solution, that broker isn’t Abbas. Also, Israel also has its own idea: to “hold a security role over Gaza for an indefinite period,” a suggestion that is also insane. So far there seems to be no feasible endgame in Gaza, and Biden, desperate to avoid accusations of being complicit in the death of civilians in Gaza, is throwing Hail Marys.
*The Republicans are still having debates about who won’t be the Presidential candidate in a year. The WaPo reports a heated moment perhaps reflecting the candidates’ frustration at engaging in such a futile exercise.
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley told entrepreneur and fellow Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to keep her daughter “out of your voice” during a contentious moment on the debate stage in Miami on Wednesday night.
. . .[Vivek] Ramaswamy was asked how he could ban TikTok — the popular Chinese-owned social media app that has drawn scrutiny across the U.S. government — if he is an active user himself.
Before explaining that the social media platform is important to reach younger generations of Americans, Ramaswamy said he wanted to “laugh at why Nikki Haley didn’t answer your question, which is about looking at families in the eye.”
“In the last debate she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time,” he said. “So you might want to take care of your family first.”
As the crowd loudly booed Ramaswamy, a visibly angry Haley told Ramaswamy to leave her daughter, who is 25, out of it.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. “You’re just scum.”
The video, just for fun: (clearly the audience didn’t like bringing family into the debate). The “scum” remark comes at 33 seconds in, and a bit later she loudly unloads on Ramaswamy.
None of these people stand a chance to be President, though, according to the Wall Street Journal, Haley is leading the pack (behind Trump, of course, who didn’t bother to show up).
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has shown momentum in recent weeks, came under sustained attack in Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate as she competes with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to be the leading alternative to former President Donald Trump.
She also delivered several of her own shots at DeSantis, who tried to float above the fray, but engaged with her on China, energy policy and a handful of other issues. A confrontation between the two had been brewing, amplified by a closely watched poll that recently showed Haley and DeSantis tied for second in Iowa, where nomination balloting starts Jan. 15.
But second place may not be worth much given Trump’s commanding lead in the polls. After an opening question that asked candidates to make a case against Trump, who skipped the event, the debate centered on testy exchanges between those on stage.
In relation to China, Haley threw a punch at DeSantis as she called for an end to all formal trade relations “until they stop murdering Americans from fentanyl, something Ron has yet to say that he’s going to do.”
Such is the tenor of American politics. Does any other country have debates like this, and are they unelightening shows of rancor, as ours are?
*Finally, activists in Michigan are trying to keep Donald Trump off the ballot because he engaged in insurrection,
A judge in Michigan is expected to hear arguments Thursday on whether Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has the authority to keep Donald Trump’s name off state ballots for president.
Activists are suing Benson in the Michigan Court of Claims to force her to keep Trump’s name off ballots and to assess Trump’s constitutional qualifications to serve a second term as president.
Meanwhile, attorneys for the former president are demanding that Trump’s name be allowed on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot.
. . .Activists — in two separate suits — point to a section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment that prohibits a person from running for federal office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. or given aid or comfort to those who have.
Liberal groups also have filed lawsuits in Colorado and Minnesota to bar Trump from the ballot, portraying him as the inciter of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was intended to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election win.
The groups cite a rarely used constitutional prohibition against holding office for those who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution but then “engaged in insurrection” against it. The two-sentence clause in the 14th Amendment has been used only a handful of times since the years after the Civil War.
It won’t work unless Trump is convicted of inciting insurrection (he’s been indicted). Then, if he’s off the ballot in states like Michigan, he can’t win. However, if they leave him on the ballot and he wins the election, he could pardon himself if he’s convicted, as he’s accused of federal crimes. Now that would be a circus, since we don’t know if a President can pardon himself
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili sees despair in Andrzej’s eyes:
Hili: You were reading a newspaper again.A: How do you know?Hili: I can see it just by looking at you.
Hili: Znowu czytałeś gazetę.Ja: Skąd wiesz?Hili: To zawsze po tobie widać.
Masih is apparently a member of a new body called the American Liberty Congress, an organization designed to do what the UN is supposed to do but doesn’t.
Global dissidents hold First General Assembly
More than 200 dissidents from 56 countries under autocratic rule gathered in Vilnius during the first General Assembly of the World Liberty Congress, an organization dedicated to promoting #democracy and #humanrights. The gathering… pic.twitter.com/Af0vD4E0cL
— WORLD LIBERTY CONGRESS (@WLCongress) November 6, 2023
From Malcolm; cats being cats:
Just cat's in action pic.twitter.com/3YDXdoE4RB
— Cute vs Goblin (@cute_vs_goblin) October 21, 2023
From Barry. This Eurasian eagle owl, named Flaco, escaped from a NYC zoo and has eluded capture. It’s amazing that it can survive, but winter is coming on. It was in Central Park but has now moved:
Flaco the Eurasian Eagle-Owl has begun a new chapter of his life after having left Central Park, looking out early this evening at new surroundings in Kenkeleba House Garden on East 2nd Street in the East Village. 🦉 ♥️ pic.twitter.com/bCUq9i6bGb
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) November 6, 2023
From Jez; an Israeli spokesman tangles with a Sky News reporter:
Israeli Government Spokesman Eylon Levy calls on the international community to help with civilian evacuations instead of 'criticising Israel's efforts to keep Gazan civilians safe from the consequences of their own leaders reckless actions'https://t.co/HHQeURVSsz
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/E2hahPqvk5
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 8, 2023
From Simon, who says “Gotta love Raskin”:
Today I learned Jamie Raskin is not only a member of Congress and constitutional law scholar, but also a grammarian, as evidenced by his markup of a “Dear Colleague” from George Santos. Ouch. pic.twitter.com/vB7Rp3caL0
— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 3, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial; an 11 year old girl gassed upon arrival:
9 November 1930 | A Dutch Jewish girl, Betsij Kaatje van Geldere, was born in Tilburg.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 9, 2023
Tweets from Matthew. First–MILLIPEDE DRESSAGE!
Look for the sideways half pass,
and the ‘coil’.
One Tree Hill,
SE. Australia. pic.twitter.com/vtrJR3OaVL
— Nick Porch (@InvertoPhiles) October 15, 2022
A WHITE CAT after exploring the chimney (from Instagram):